What is Domestic Violence

It occurs when one person engages in behaviour that causes fear or harm

What is Domestic Violence?

Most people think domestic and family violence involves hitting and other forms of physical abuse… But it is really about an abuse of power. It occurs when one person in a relationship engages in behaviour that causes fear or harm to the other person.

Violence can take the form of:

  • verbal abuse [shouting, name-calling]
  • emotional manipulation,
  • damage to property,
  • physical violence,
  • non-consensual sexual contact,
  • financial control,
  • stalking,
  • harming of children or pets,
  • threatening to commit any of the above acts.

Domestic and family violence can occur within de facto and married relationships, intimate personal relationships including dating relationships, between family members and in informal care relationships.

A Domestic Violence Protection Order [DVO] is an Order made by a court prohibiting violent behaviour by an abusive person. Breaching a DVO is a criminal offence and should be reported to the Police.

Victims May Experience One or More of the following as a result of abuse:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • General anxiety or paranoia
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Sexual disorders
  • Physical disorders
  • Distrust of authority figures, or people in general
  • Loss of self-esteem, feelings of helplessness and worthlessness
  • Loss of job and/or income
  • Feeling of isolation
  • Drug and/or alcohol addiction

Domestic Violence affects children and young people too…

Children and young people who experience violence can have feelings of sadness, fear, guilt, anger and confusion. They can also experience behavioural and emotional problems after witnessing domestic and family violence. Domestic Violence is child abuse.